Michelin Dundee closure: Scotland’s Economy Secretary convening action group
Scotland’s Finance and Economy Secretary, Derek Mackay, held urgent talks yesterday with trade unions and the management of Michelin Tyre Company Ltd. to discuss the future of the Dundee car tyre plant, following confirmation of Michelin’s intention to close the plant by 2020.
During the meeting, Mackay announced he’ll convene an action group of interested parties to explore all options for securing a sustainable future for the site. Michelin said it would look in detail at any proposals for the plant’s future presented by the action group or trade unions.
Mackay spent the day in Dundee meeting with representatives of the Michelin plant workforce, trade unions and Dundee City Council. He confirmed that the Scottish Government and enterprise agencies stand ready to provide support for the plant and its workforce at this difficult time.
Speaking from Dundee, Mackay declared that the Scottish Government will do all it can to protect the workforce. “This announcement is devastating not just for those who work at the Michelin plant, but for their families and the whole of the city of Dundee,” he stated. “But the message from the Scottish Government is clear: Dundee is a hugely vibrant city and a great place for businesses to invest, to grow and to develop and the Scottish Government will do all we can to secure a future for the plant and the workforce.
“I have met members of Michelin’s Group Executive and they have agreed to consider a proposition that we will bring forward, to secure a sustainable future for the plant,” Mackay continued. “I will be convening an action group to explore all options to secure a future for the plant and its highly-skilled workforce. I will chair an initial meeting in Dundee on Monday (12 November) with the action plan being taken forward by Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, and Dundee City Council leader John Alexander.
Mackay commented that, having spoken with the council, unions, local politicians and the UK Government, he is “confident there is a shared desire to work together to secure the best possible future for the site and its workforce.” He added that at the same time, the Scottish Government will work with the unions and the local management to “provide the best possible support” to the workforce.
“We have been working with Tay partners to complete the arrangements for the £300 million Tay Cities deal and an additional £50 million package. We stand ready to move forward with the Tay City Deal as soon as possible and call on the UK Government to bring forward additional measures and investment, in light of Michelin’s announcement,” Mackay shared. “Dundee has undergone a major transformation in recent years and a great place to do business. The Scottish Government will work with everyone across Dundee in our efforts to ensure there continues to be a vibrant future for manufacturing in Dundee.”
Dundee “committed” to achieving a positive outcome
John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, described Michelin’s announcement as “a body blow for every person who currently works at the Michelin Plant.” He added: “We are absolutely committed to putting in the effort with the workforce, the decision-makers at Michelin, the Scottish Government and other partners in Dundee and beyond to achieve a positive outcome.
Alexander said Dundee City Council will be an “active participant” in the action group and will “help to investigate every possible avenue to ensure that Michelin continues be a part of our economic future.”